Chi-Chi Shi: “Climate change and carceral border regimes”

In Students by General Account

Climate change is projected to displace upwards of 200 million refugees by 2050 (IPCC, 2018). States are increasingly conceptualising it as a ‘threat multiplier’ to national security. Meanwhile, ethnonationalist and authoritarian reactions to environmental concerns are increasingly prevalent within far-right ideology and discourse. In a global context of far-right ascendency and escalating ethnonationalist violence, climate change is triggering a worldwide intensification of militarised responses, alongside the rise of restrictive, carceral border regimes. I want to explore how carceral border regimes form part of a growing, systemic response to climate crisis that structurally enact and reinforce ethnonationalism. Through investigating the constitution of two detention sites where violent ethnonationalism intersects with ecological precarity – Australia’s asylum-processing site on Nauru; and the Rohingya refugee resettlement camp on Bhasan Char in Bangladesh – I will explore the convergence of ecology, migration and governance. In doing so, my research will fill a critical lacuna by investigating the structural manifestations of ethnonationalist responses to climate change, and contribute to understanding the ascendant forms of governance triggered by the climate crisis.